Perpetually Peeved


When good intentions go bad

I think whether parenthood is something planned or not, that most people go into it with good intentions.  When people find out they are going to become parents they secretly think they are going to be the best parent ever. 

Our parents?  They knew nothing.  I mean, they let us run around until the streetlights turned on.  We would drive hours on the interstates with no seat belts and at least one sibling lying across the hump on the floor of the car.  Baby teething?  Slip him some whiskey.  Teenager backtalking?  Feed her some soap.  Broke your arm?  Quit crying or I’ll break the other one. 

Yeah, I think most people’s’ visceral reaction to finding out they are going to have a child is, “I’m going to do it so much better than my parents did.”

So, what the heck happens?

photo from belch.com

Not too long ago, I was at the zoo with Biggie and Smalls.  A lot of people had those cute little monkey leash backpacks for their children.  Which, I will be honest, I’m not a huge fan of.  I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I just always held my kid’s hand or strapped them in the stroller.  That wasn’t my problem, though.  I understand why people have them.  It’s a scary thing to bring a non-verbal, squirmy toddler out to a crowded place where they could disappear in a heartbeat.  I get it.  I still watch my 12-year-old go to the top of the driveway to get the mail.  The thing that made me literally bite my tongue was the sight of a mother dragging her toddler behind her.  Pulling away like she was towing a wagon or something.  Um, lady, you dropped something.  Oh wait, that’s YOUR KID!  Cripies!  I’m thinking she didn’t see a little pink plus sign on a stick and think, “I’m going to be the best mom ever.  When little Timmy gets tired at the zoo, I won’t rent him a stroller, I’ll use my super-mommy strength to drag his ass from cage to cage.”

Hmm... I wonder why Timmy can't focus in school.

I was getting Smalls into the car at her daycare one day and was having a conversation with a woman who had a young son (about 4 years old or so).  She was complaining about how he just wouldn’t sit still and he wouldn’t stop talking and he can’t pay attention to anything for more than a few seconds.  As she’s saying this, she is loading him into a carseat positioned directly in front of a 10 inch DVD screen which she promptly turns on (with her remote start button).  “It’s just so difficult,” she shouts over the cries of the Wiggles, “is it possible for a four-year old to be diagnosed with ADD?”  No, darling, it isn’t any more possible than diagnosing his mother with a bad case of stupidity.

Clean up on Aisle 9!

See that angelic four-year-old holding on fiercely to a freshly Clorox-Wipe’d shopping cart, minding her own business, humming a song for her mommy?  Okay, now see that hooligan child lying on the ground kicking over the end cap display with her feet and mopping the dirty linoleum with her hair?  Okay, now see that lady halfway across the store, seemingly by herself minding her own business and shopping?  Isn’t she doing a great job of ignoring the toneless WA HA WA HA WA HA fake ambulance sound emitting from the mophead?  She’s not even looking around like I was to see where in the world the little critter’s mother was.  Hmmm…  she must be shopping for mirrors. 

And the nominees for Mother of the Year are…

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